As Hewlett-Packard mulls the fate of its PC operations, this is a good opportunity to contrast HP's ultraportable workhorse with Apple's popular MacBook Air.
Just before the news broke about Hewlett-Packard considering a spin-off of its PC operations, I received an EliteBook 2560p from HP to try out. Call it uncanny. Or, better yet, call it an opportune time to take a high-end HP laptop for a spin and compare two competing design philosophies from two of the most successful--and biggest--computer companies in the world.
And, yes, I wondered for a moment if this was the last opportunity to handle a new HP-branded laptop. But that thought quickly vanished. HP Executive Chairman Ray Lane has said--as recently as Thursday--that the $40 billion PC operations will either be spun off as an "HP branded" company or kept inside.
With that preamble, let's get down to business. First, some quick notes about the EliteBook 2560p. Among the business models announced in the last six months or so, the 2560p is the closest that HP gets to the Air. (Some might argue that the ProBook 5330m or Pavilion dm1 are closer, but I'm sticking with the 2560p as the best point of comparison for reasons cited below--besides, that's all I've got to work with.)
(Note: this is not a formal review but general impressions of the 2560p after using it for about three weeks. And also note that I am not comparing it to the latest MacBook Air with Intel Sandy Bridge chips inside. I'm sure the MacBook faithful will cry foul on that account. My everyday machine is the MBA spec'd below.) … Read more